E-scooters and turmoil: StuGov supports e-scooters, faces the mirror early in the semester


Vice President Jacob Schrader conducting business Wednesday.

Jake Tubbs

Student Government conducted their weekly meeting Wednesday night. While e-scooters and inner-government workings were on the agenda, high emotions also made it to the table. 

The first notable topic of the night was a bill about the introduction of e-scooters to Iowa State and Ames. The bill was authored by Senate Speaker Jacob Ludwig. He talked about whether bringing scooters to Ames was a good idea or not. Both sides of the argument were occupied as some thought the idea was good while others thought it was not.  

“I think e-scooters would be a fantastic addition to campus,” Ludwig said. “They would be another useful form of transportation that would benefit a lot of students.” 

However, other senators were not too fond of the idea of e-scooters littering the streets of Ames.  

“I don’t think this is a good idea, I’m voting against it,” UROC Sen. Matt Stenzel said. “That’s my opinion, and I just think it sounds great in theory but I don’t like them.” 

Sen. Ryan Hurley looked back at how e-scooters have negatively affected his hometown, Boston, Massachusetts. 

“This took place back home where I live, and I’ll just say it has been a disaster,” Hurley said. “People have written articles that there is a civil war between people and scooters back home.”

Unfortunately for Stenzel and Hurley, their arguments came to no avail. The bill passed by a vote of 17 to 7. Speaker Ludwig expressed his optimism and excitement for e-scooters. 

“These companies want to be partners with the city and university,” Ludwig said. “They don’t want to have a bad reputation, they want happy customers. … I think they will make a fantastic addition to the Iowa State community and Ames community.” 

The next topic of discussion on the agenda had to do with the empty seat for attorney general. Sandeep Stanley, director of student advocates, was the nominee for the position. The Senate did not agree with the nomination.

“I have a really hard time saying yes to somebody who has demonstrated in multiple areas over the course of the past year that he has not been able to fulfill the duties that Student Government and Student Government senators have put him in charge of,” Sen. Mason Zastrow said. 

After the Senate denied Stanley’s nomination, Vice President Jacob Schrader spoke on the matter during his closing statement. Schrader spoke on the complexity of the subject and his disappointment. 

“We had a nominee stand up for attorney general today,” Schrader said. “I encourage you all to read that description. Is that a job you would volunteer for?” 

Schrader went on to talk about the position of attorney general, how the job was overlooked and unappreciated. Schrader called out the Senate’s lack of awareness. 

“[Stanley] was up here saying he was willing to change,” Schrader said. “He knew he made a mistake, he was willing to put in the work, he was willing to put in the effort to get better. And as a body, collectively, we said no, we don’t need you. Well, I think we needed him.”

Schrader’s last point was a message to the Senate: we must change. If not, more senators will resign and problems will persist. 

“We ended last semester with 34 seated senators. We started last week with 29. We started today with 26,” Schrader said. “We need to change because if we don’t, this Senate meeting is going to be eight people sitting around debating bylaw bills.”

After Schrader’s speech, Sen. Julie Anderson talked about what changes needed to be made. 

“As someone who was never involved in Student Government before, I know you guys have said this year is different because of COVID, but I think we need to be better at getting to know each other on a more personal level,” Anderson said. “I think that is really the issue we’re seeing. There is no trust. I don’t know anything about most of you, and that requires just reaching out.”